Equality Texas Interim Executive Director Samantha Smoot

Equality Texas Interim Executive Director Sam Smoot warns that two of the most extreme anti-LGBT bills this session are moving in the state House. That’s despite the promise by Speaker of the House Dennis Bonnen to stick to basics like education and property tax relief for this legislative session.

HB 1035 grants special rights to discriminate for people who hold the belief that marriage is between a man and a woman, and gender is immutable from birth.

In other words — if you don’t like the existence of LGBTQ people, the Texas legislature wants to reward you.

HB 1035 reads like a roadmap for discrimination, laying out all the ways to treat LGBTQ people as less than:

  • Firing and refusing to hire,
  • Refusing to rent or sell housing,
  • Refusing to provide health care to a trans person,
  • Policing gender expression in the workplace and at school,
  • and — of course — refusing to issue a marriage license.

Equality Texas warns HB 1035 is so extreme that it even includes a bathroom bill provision within the bill.

The second bill, HB 3172, prevents any government entity from taking action against a person acting on a “sincerely held religious belief.” That includes beliefs on marriage.

In other words, a person who blatantly practices discrimination cannot lose a government loan, contract, public university admission, accreditation or professional license, as long as they claim a ‘sincerely held religious belief.’

— From Staff Reports